Using SaaS Applications with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Operations

Trade Promotions Management (TPM) software vendors have spent the last few years trying to convince IT and sales professionals, as well as business executives, that there are enormous advantages associated with cloud computing.

Some messages targeted the number crunchers by discussing the advantages of more accurate pricing, while others targeted IT staff with scalability and the ability to automate mundane back-office administration tasks.

There is a great deal of truth to each of these arguments, but little energy has been devoted to explaining why TPM applications delivered in the cloud via the SaaS model on a subscription basis make a whole lot of sense.

TPM applications that can be integrated into Dynamics 365 Operations are the key to bridging the innovation gap executives often complain about to their IT departments.

What is SaaS?

Over the last decade or so, software providers such as Microsoft have moved to a cloud-based distribution model with customers typically paying a relatively modest monthly subscription to access ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS), that is software that is constantly being updated and improved. Generally, SaaS is provided via a public cloud environment and the software is owned and maintained by the vendor. This either eliminates or significantly reduces upfront acquisition costs and ongoing maintenance expenses by removing the need for on-premise infrastructure.

Why use SaaS applications with Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Increasingly, SaaS applications are designed to integrate with other business applications. Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 solutions play well with many of the big-name SaaS solutions. 

Add value to your ERP with applications that work well together

Combining Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations with a SaaS application from the Azure marketplace to manage and execute trade promotions will help you to add the functionality you need without having to go down the customization route.

This also makes upgrades a much less painful task because application updates and upgrades are managed by the SaaS provider. There are also no potential roadblocks to upgrading due to rogue customizations that are not compatible or slow down the upgrade process.

Be more agile and become more competitive

ERP systems are often stuck back in the data center, forcing your sales representatives to travel back to the office before addressing claims, the status of a promotion, or confirming that they have given the correct pricing.

With the ERP back in the data center, your sales reps cannot take into account any potential rebates or promotions on offer that they may not know about.

An integrated, cloud-based TPM solution would enable sales reps to respond to real-time changes in promotional earnings, product inventory and competitive pricing. This puts the power in the hands of your sales rep to adjust pricing, to move more stock, or counter a competitive price while in the field.

Today’s most successful businesses are able to gain a competitive advantage because they are flexible and more easily able to deal with change. This is the type of agility that comes from a SaaS application and Dynamics 365 Operations.

Future proof what you build to manage your business operations

With Dynamics 365 Operations as your base, you will be able to add or remove applications and scale up or down with demand.

The goal is to disengage from the ERP environment and move towards plugging in the additional functionality as you need it. This also cuts the cost of business applications which benefits everyone.

IT departments today have a responsibility to be more collaborative when it comes to business applications. Individual departments are taking more ownership of the software applications they use to manage their day-to-day operations.

SaaS applications are all about collaboration, between the ERP and application and the IT department and users. This gives you the best chance of success as business needs can be identified and addressed for all areas of the business.

How Microsoft Dynamics 365 is Changing the SaaS Market

Flexibility: SaaS gives businesses greater flexibility to scale up or down or pivot, depending on requirements or budget. With the ability to evolve and adapt now a must-have in modern business, flexibility in your systems is a top priority. Physical infrastructure simply can’t provide this kind of flexibility. 

Cost saving: As those of a certain age will recall, investing in on-premises used to be a far more expensive, time-consuming and risky endeavor and individuals and organizations weren’t keen to upgrade once they found something that did the job. SaaS is a far more attractive proposition for both buyers and sellers of software. That’s because buyers aren’t going to end up significantly out of pocket if they choose the ‘wrong’ software and, most of the time, sellers are going to end up with recurring revenue. Plus, sellers don’t have to plead with an existing customer to upgrade and buyers don’t have to deal with the expense and peril of upgrading. Instead, the seller just provides all the subscribers with the latest and greatest version of the software (and factors the cost of doing this into the subscription fee.)

Faster deployment: On-premise software requires a much lengthier deployment upfront as well as a lengthy upgrade process every time a new version of the software is released. SaaS solves this problem by removing the need for physical infrastructure.

Higher user adoption: SaaS is more attractive to users than old-school on-premise software for two reasons. Firstly, assuming the relevant approvals have been granted, it can be accessed on a variety of devices at any time and in any location. Secondly, because it typically provides more intuitive interfaces, SaaS is easier and more pleasant to use than old-fashioned, on-premises software. So, people are more inclined to actually use it regularly.  

How Flintech can help in SaaS and Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration

Flintech is a long-time Microsoft Gold Partner. Our expert staff have plenty of experience helping businesses choose and implement the best SaaS solutions for their needs, including Microsoft Dynamics 365 business applications.

Final takeaway

Though it’s not something that’s attracted the attention it deserves, what might be labeled the ‘SaaS revolution’ of the last decade has allowed businesses of all sizes and across all industries to access lots of incredibly powerful and useful software at minimal expense.

Savvy businesses, especially if they leverage the expertise of the right tech experts, can now build best-of-breed tech stacks that allow them to accomplish things that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.Looking to reduce your reliance on on-premise infrastructure and move to SaaS solutions for Trade Promotions Management? Flintech can help. Book a free consultation with us today to find out more.